Personal Finance Roundup

Seven Websites That Saved Me Money in the Last Week [The Simple Dollar] “Here are seven websites I used to directly save money over the last week, my exact purchases and savings, and how much cash they saved me.”

Home buyers should look beyond low prices for long-term values [Consumer Reports] “Follow these tips to help secure the best deal [on a home] you can.”

New ways to save on drugs [CNN Money] “Here’s the news you need to know to avoid the worst of the pain – no clandestine trips to Canada required.”

The Four Pillars of Investing [Get Rich Slowly] “For the past year, I’ve been looking for a book to recommend for novice investors, a book that would offer sensible advice without becoming too technical. I believe I’ve finally found that book.”

5 stupid ‘fixes’ for money woes [MSN Money] “If a solution sounds too good to be true, it probably is. And the words ‘quick and easy’ should set off alarm bells.”


(Photo: Tengaport)


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  1. Alexander says:

    Wow, PaperBackSwap and SwapaDVD seem quite interesting. For whatever reason though, I can’t part with the books I have. I don’t know why I like keeping them. Maybe I think I’ll read them again.

  2. battra92 says:

    @alexander: I just purged out a bunch of my books but it seems absolutely pointless to me to give them up as “credit” for a book I may want in the future. No way in Hades am I going to the post office every day someone requests a book.

    If the books are public domain and you’ve read them before, just get the Project Gutenburg text file version if you need to reference it.

  3. AdvocatesDevil says:

    Can I find out where the gas station in the picture is located? Probably 1999, right? I’d like to go there for gas, please!

  4. ssaoi says:

    Never trust a website that forces you to download unnecessary software. I’m looking at you


    Here’s a great article on why to not use

  5. nrwfos says:

    @battra92: I do belong to PaperbackSwap and I never go to the PO. It is a painless thing to do to buy your postage and DC(Delivery confirmation – if you want it) on line through PBS. They have you down load – if you want – a printed sheet with the address of the recipient and postage – if you pay for it – that you then use either to wrap your book in to mail. If you purchase your postage online – you can have your books mailed any way you want from anywhere you happen to be. From home ( if you trust your mail carrier) or from the big blue box – it doesn’t matter. If you don’t purchase the postage online then you probably will have to go to the post office since there are homeland security rules on what can be mailed without going through the postal clerk. Only 6oz. and below (I think) books can go first class with stamps and not be mailed by handing it to a clerk. But if you mail it media mail and buy the postage online you can mail anything that fits the media mail definition. Most people scream at the idea of media mail, but I just received a book mailed media mail today that was put in the mail July 7, 2008. I have first class mail that doesn’t get to its destination in that period of time. If you join and list 10 books you get 2 free credits to request books immediately. It’s one credit per book (no matter the size or weight) or 2 credits per audio books. I read constantly so I need to get rid of paperbacks, and I can’t get a better deal at the used books stores. I’ve been a member since Dec. 2007, and I’ve sent out 80 books, and received 78 – so far. 3 more are in the mail. I have only one books to mail out currently. I have 40 books available to other members. But there are over 2,000 members and more than 2,000,000 books available to request. I’ve found that the books that I have in the non-fiction categories (including business, finance, investments, and history) go quickly. I prefer to read science fiction for entertainment and there’s a lot on there. If you have a large store of books to read you can get on wait lists for others, and most of the wait lists move quickly. Not all, but most. I recommend it wholeheartedly if you can see yourself doing something along this line. I save gas and get new books for the cost of postage and packaging tape. I do recommend using some sort of plastic for an inner wrapper (food wrap, free plastic grocery bags, dry cleaner bags, etc.) to protect the books from PO handling and bad weather. I have had books soaked because my mail person won’t close up the mailboxes on our road. The rules of the site are quite clear and fair about condition of the books swapped. Basically, it comes down to sending out what you would prefer to receive – no water damage, no broken spines, no writing or highlighting (except for textbooks), and that sort of thing. But water damage is a big one because it does tend to spread mold and mildew spores. Other individual rules can be adopted like no smoking in current environment and no cats in current environment. But everyone has to keep in mind they are used books (usually), so will not be in mint condition. But “mint” condition can mean different things. I’ve gotten brand new books that had page and cover damage…so it varies.

    Just thought I’d let people know from a real live member.

    R. foster

  6. battra92 says:

    @nrwfos: Well, if you like it, that’s good. I think I’ll stick to Gutenburg and Librivox for now.